Andrew gives us ratings and some review thoughts on WWE Elimination Chamber!
Well admittedly, I had no hype for this show. I figure the Chamber matches will be fine, but this really feels like one of those cards that get smothered a bit since all it does is feed to Mania.
Also it’s a little odd how WWE tends to bring back titles, but then not use the lineage when they setup these new incarnations. It’s definitely frustrating that a company that prides itself on history and “Then, Now, and Forever”, tends to forget the Then in favor of the Now.
But let’s see what we get out of this show.
- WWE Cruiserweight Championship: Buddy Murphy (c) vs Akira Tozawa: Murphy retains via Murphy’s Law @13:25 – ****
- Women’s Tag Team Championship Elimination Chamber: The IIconics vs Liv Morgan & Sarah Logan vs Tamina & Nia Jax vs Bayley & Sasha Banks vs Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville vs Carmella & Naomi – Banks wins via Modified Bank Statement @33:00 – ****
- SmackDown Tag Team Titles: Shane McMahon & The Miz (c) vs The Usos: Usos win via Crucifix Pin @14:10 – ** 3/4 – TITLE CHANGE!!
- Intercontinental Championship Handicap Match: Lio Rush & Bobby Lashley (c) vs Finn Balor @9:30 – ** 1/4 – TITLE CHANGE!!
- Raw Women’s Championship: Ronda Rousey (c) vs Ruby Riott: Rousey wins via Armbar @1:40 – N/A
- NO DQ: Braun Strowman vs Baron Corbin: Corbin wins via Shield Powerbomb (Lashley and McIntyre interference) @10:50 – *
- WWE Championship Elimination Chamber: Kofi Kingston vs Randy Orton vs AJ Styles vs Samoa Joe vs Jeff Hardy vs Daniel Bryan (c): Bryan retains via Knee Plus @36:35 – **** 1/2
Pre-Show is mostly forgettable save for Liv saying they’ll be first ever Women’s Tag Champs and five minutes later Beth Phoenix references the Glamour Girls and Jumping Bomb Angels…so yay consistency. Sam tries to call out the fact that Finn Balor sucks without the Demon and there’s a Moment of Bliss that’s amusing, but generally typical pre-show stuff.
Cruiserweight match was a bit better than I expected. Murphy used his size to dominate Tozawa for a while, but then we get split screen so Kayla can talk to Xavier and Big E about Kofi in a throw away amusing spot. Why has WWE decided to interrupt so many of their matches lately for dumb crap? Yes New Day is funny, but why did that have to happen during the CHAMPIONSHIP match? Ugh. Both Tozawa and Murphy shine at different points, Tozawa hits his big Senton while Muprhy is draped across the middle rope for a near fall. Bicycle Knee and a quick Murphy’s Law later, Murphy retains in a fairly close fight.
Well the beginning of this chamber match started off pretty awful actually. But once the rest of the teams got involved, the match actually got better. Riott Squad performed really well, IIconics had a nice tandem pin to eliminate Naomi and Nia took the Big Show bump of crashing through a pod. Honestly a little surprised they put the belts on Sasha & Bayley right away. With Sasha’s injury and faces chasing belts usually being an easier way to write a Mania angle, they instead took the easy route and just put the belts on the fan favorites right away. Surprised not because it doesn’t make sense, surprised because WWE usually takes detours and goes around the block a few times before eventually ending up where it should’ve been. But yea, bad first couple minutes, but turned into a damn good match.
Miz starts things off with announcing that Maryse is pregnant with baby number 2! The match was more or less what you’d expect, a few interesting spots, Shane jumping off of stuff and getting caught once or twice. Miz did a Springboard Axehandle and after connecting, he surprised himself and played to the crowd. The match was perfectly fine, Usos barely won the match, so I’m not sure if we’re slowly setting up for someone’s turn, but I’m a little curious to see where this goes.
Oh it’s the handicap match…I just remembered I still have Ring Dings. Ahh those are yummy. Oh- the match? Do I care? Do YOU care? No…stuff happened, it was underwhelming, Lio’s arrogance was the undoing of the team. Finn rallied against the smaller man, kept Lashley out of the ring and Coup de Grace wins the match and his first title since his Universal Title 24 hour reign and the first without the Demon. So yea…that’s something I suppose. But Ring Dings…
Oh – and Lashley slammed Lio after the loss, so I guess they’re done. Again, no one cares.
Charlotte comes out and drones on in an anti-Becky, ‘she panders too much’ promo. Cause we need a vapid promo on a PPV from someone who cuts a promo as well as cheese cuts bricks. *falls into a coma*
Well now Ronda comes out dressed like Sonya Blade, and squashes Ruby. Liv and Sarah look competent, but the leader gets run over. That makes sense…sure. Thank go Becky Lynch shows up and just starts beating up everyone with her crutches and her inverted Kill Bill color schemed motorcycle outfit. Cause she’s not The Bride, she’s The Man. And if that’s the reference they were going for, I’ll take it. So hey at least now I care more about this show then Ring Dings again.
Dammit wait, that means Baron vs Braun is next. BACK TO THE COMA!
Stuff stuff stuff, Braun Running Powerslam’s Corbin through a table, but Drew McIntyre and Bobby Lashley show up. Corbin’s group is back together and they take out Braun. Punctuated by a Shield Powerbomb through two tables. Gives everyone something to do moving towards Mania, but it wasn’t a good match, those kind of finishes are always lacking…just…it is very whatever. Maybe the Samoan Sex Machine returns as one of Braun’s teammates, and the Shield Powerbomb was a hint.
Not gonna lie, this Chamber match started off slow and awkward. Bryan trying to run away from Joe was fine and perfect for his character, but some of the spots were just big for the sake of being big *coughJeffHardycoughcough*, or stupid like the Spider German Suplex/Superplex combo. But towards the end the story telling came into play much more and Kofi trying to will himself to his dream, caused for some surprising kick outs and moments. Even though Bryan retained in the long run, Kofi was the real star of the show.
Overall Score: 6/10
This was a weird show. Cruiserweight and Chamber matches were great, but the rest of the show was kinda lame. They book ended the show well, and the main event was awesome…but getting from the beginning to the end felt like work. Miz will probably stay babyface since he seems the most broken up and disappointed with the loss, plus a baby on the way will make him hard to boo. So if that angle is going the way most of us see, I guess Shane is going to go full “McMahon” for the WresleMania match.
Finn winning without the Demon should’ve been something, but in a weird match, with a dumb stipulation in a feud that had no buzz/heat, it fell so flat. Good for him, don’t get me wrong, I enjoy Finn, but, it’s not how you’d expect his second main roster title. Ronda…meh. Braun/Baron was just a means to I guess get everyone involved in an angle, and that’s fine. But as I said, the match was pretty crap so we’ll see if this goes somewhere decent.
So yeah, the show was fine, but would’ve scored a lot higher to me, if the middle wasn’t coma inducing.
Greg DeMarco’s Three Stars Of The Night: WWE Raw (5/20/19)
Big night on Raw — who stood out?
WWE Raw returned stateside this week, and we got ourselves a new championship. Who stood out?
The Third Star for WWE Raw: Paul Heyman
Paul Heyman knows how to deliver, and he delivered big time during Raw. He made the show feel like a big deal, and it did. He made both champions feel important, but put Brock Lesnar over in the process. Lesnar is so much more comfortable with Paul Heyman around, and the job done to make this briefcase situation feel unique was really solidified by Paul Heyman. Plus, his line about Rollins sitting through 7 hours of WrestleMania waiting for his girlfriend to main event the show he’s always dreamed of main eventing was clutch.
Elisa looks great in her Chairshot gear.
You can, too!
Be like Elisa and get yours at:
The Second Star: The IIconics
Billie Kay and Peyton Royce really are national treasures. America, Australia, it doesn’t matter. They are the best, and they’ve crafted characters that don’t need to win or lose, they just need to perform their act. That’s what it takes in WWE, regardless of what we want it to be. Their promo during A Moment Of Bliss (full of people perfectly playing their characters, by the way), was outstanding. Hats off to both ladies for getting themselves to this place.
Honorable Mention: Alexa Bliss, Nikki Cross, Lacey Evans, Becky Lynch, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, Kofi Kingston, the entire 24/7 crew, The Usos, The Revival, Baron Corbin (yup), Bobby Lashley (I miss Lio), Drew McIntyre, and Shane McMahon
So many great performances tonight, and I am positive I’m leaving deserving folks out.
The First Star for WWE Raw: The Miz
The Miz is on fire right now, and it comes at a time where both world champions are babyfaces. He’s world champion caliber, and needs something to sink his teeth into if the issue with Shane truly is done. Drew McIntyre is a fine option, but I really want a top flight program for Miz. Maybe he’s the guy to elevate Drew? I’m not sure. I don’t feel like we turn Miz, but the best options for him (to me) are AJ Styles and Seth Rollins.
In hockey, a game’s “Three Stars Of The Night” represent the top three performers of the night. For more clarification, I defer to this Pittsburgh Gazette explanation:
“The tradition dates to the 1936-37 season, when Imperial Oil became the principal sponsor of Hockey Night in Canada radio broadcasts and was seeking a way to promote one of its products, Three Star gasoline. The idea of doing so by selecting the top three performers in a particular game purportedly came from a Canadian advertising agency.
Many clubs do recognize the player with the most three-star selections with an award or trophy, usually in conjunction with a corporate sponsorship, at the end of the season (or sometimes, each month). All six Canadian franchises, for example, have an affiliation with a well-known brewery.
The NHL keeps track of its own Three Stars Of The Night selections, but that is done on a league-wide basis. The league employs a system that awards 30 points to a first star, 20 to a second star and 10 to a third – a running total can be found on the league’s website – but it does not present an award based on them.”
In hockey tradition, the first star represents the best of the three, but all three are considered to be receiving a high honor.
7 Best Candidates To Win New Japan Best Of The Super Juniors 26
Who is the front runner?
Abe takes a look at the New Japan Best of the Super Juniors tournament and who is on pace to pick up the overall win.
New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Best of the Super Juniors tournament kicked off just last week and plenty of quality wrestling has already taken place. For the first time ever, twenty total men make up the tournament field. That means a few more sleeper candidates could potentially sneak their way into the finals.
Best Chance of Winning The New Japan Best Of The Super Juniors
At the time of this being written, Takagi is still undefeated since making his debut in NJPW. That includes the matches he’s already competed in during this year’s tournament. I don’t believe they’ll pull the trigger on him going the whole tournament without a loss but it’s definitely something to monitor. He’s been an incredible addition to Los Ingobernables de Japan as well as to the company as a whole.
Takagi has already taken shots at current IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, Dragon Lee for overlooking the field and only thinking about impending return of Hiromu Takahashi. Dragon Lee and Shingo are the favorites in their block. Takagi’s reason for winning the block could be that Lee was too focused on the future.
After winning the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship in Madison Square Garden, there is nobody in the tournament with more momentum. The current champion winning the tournament is very uncommon but there is already a story in place as I mentioned. If the current champion wins the entire BOSJ tournament, he will get to select who challenges him for the championship at Dominion. Hiromu Takahashi is the man he wont stop talking about. Almost a year ago, Dragon Lee was the guy that put his biggest rival on the shelf. Hiromu had to vacate the title as a result of the injury suffered in that match. If Takahashi is cleared to compete, there is no better person to accept the challenge.
Who Else Has A Chance?
He hasn’t won the tournament in three years and is competing with the heavyweights more and more. Among the current field, Ospreay almost certainly has the most high-profile matches under his belt. He’s the clear betting favorite to make it to the finals in his block. If there’s anything that’ll stop him, it’s that NJPW may already be trying to transition him into a heavyweight.
Ishimori made it to the finals of the BOSJ tournament last year but only finished as the runner-up. He was also the most recent IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion. Since his official rebranding as Bullet Club’s “Bone Soldier” last year, he’s maintained a spot near the top of the junior division. If they want to continue his recently-formed feud with Dragon Lee, the opportunity is right there.
The newest member of the NJPW roster is in a similar position to the one Taiji Ishimori was in last year. El Phantasmo was introduced as the newest member of the Bullet Club mere days before BOSJ. The aforementioned Ishimori did actually end up going all the finals and Phantasmo is off to a 3-0 start this year. The only man in the B Block that’s a real threat to his path there is Will Ospreay but that’s going to be a tough ask.
Most fans think of him as a comedy wrestler but if you’ve seen him in longer, more competitive matches, you know that he’s one of the most talented guys New Japan has. It’s rare to find someone that can balance entertainment with in-ring skill the way he does. Taguchi is a two-time Junior Heavyweight Champion, former BOSJ winner, leader of his own faction, and one of the veterans of the locker room. It sounds strange but I wouldn’t put my money on Ospreay or Phantasmo as long as Taguchi is hovering near the top of the standings. He’s my dark horse in this year’s tournament.
This definitely wont happen but he is worth mentioning. SHO isn’t going to win the tournament as long as he’s attached to YOH and Rocky Romero as a part of Roppongi 3K. However, with three matches in, SHO has already wrestled the two longest and best matches of the tournament. He’s only 1-2 so far but that could make things more interesting. Watching him storm back and go on a serious winning streak would be something amazing to see.